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Notes on the 53-man roster

NFL writer Jerry McDonald

Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald

  • Just a hunch, but the core group of the Raiders special teams in support of kickers Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler may be the best they’ve had in years – Randal Williams, Ryan Riddle, John Paul Foschi, Kirk Morrison, Jarrod Cooper, Adam Treu and Zack Crockett head up that list.

    Nothing personal against CB Denard Walker, but why?

  • If Norv Turner hadn’t made his feelings toward Teyo Johnson so obvious, they might have gotten a draft pick instead of resorting to the waiver wire. Why trade for him when it seemed a good possibility he’d be cut? Look, the Raiders dumped Doug Jolley for a draft pick for the same reason they did Johnson – Turner doesn’t want or need a tight end that’s primarily a receiver.
  • For a guy who wound up on injured reserve, it sure seemed like Kenny Smith played
    against New Orleans. During the conference call announcing the cuts, in fact, Turner first said he wasn’t on injured reserve. Then he said he was.

  • I made this point once before, and it holds true regarding the 53-man roster as it stands now – this seems like an extremely high-character group. It’s a lot of guys who seem serious about playing. If you think that seems like a small thing, you never spent any time around the Raiders before, with 1997 being the lowlight.
  • Not a lot of waiver wire candidates out there to fill the void at running back. Quintin Griffin is too small and could be a creation of the Denver system.
  • Rumor has it Ronald Curry will be the second deep man on kickoff returns alongside Chris Carr, but Carr will be the primary returner.
  • Looks like the Raiders are set on wide receivers at practice. There’s Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Doug Gabriel (once he returns from hand surgery), Alvis Whitted, Johnnie Morant and Carlos Francis. Randal Williams is listed as a tight end but also plays wide receiver, and James Adkisson and Cedric Bonner returned Sunday as practice squad players.
  • Since the final roster includes no classic fullback, go ahead and assume there will be little need for one. In other words, look for lots of H-backs in motion and single-back sets with extra wide receivers. If all goes according to form and Jordan stays relatively free from injury, he’ll finish with 300 carries and nobody else will have more than 50.
  • They’ll never admit it or even address it seriously, but here’s something to consider. As a vested veteran, Chris Hetherington was due his entire $665,000 if he was on the roster for the first game. Foschi earns $230,000, and gets only a pro-rated portion of his salary if he is let go.
  • You have to wonder if the Ron Stone-Brad Badger flip-flop at right guard has something to with Langston Walker on the left side. Walker was on an extremely short leash last season as the starting right tackle. Once he faltered in the opener at Pittsburgh, Robert Gallery was installed as the starter the next week. Its possible Badger is being prepped to move in at left guard if they’re not that sure about Walker.
  • If you’re counting, the final tally on the previous blog was a below average 47-for-53. Players I had on the roster who didn’t make it: Rickey Dudley, Hetherington, TBA from waiver wire (thought they’d sign a back from another team), Antaj Hawthorne, Smith and Jay Foreman. Hawthorne was brought back to the practice squad. We’ll put a hold on the TBA for another day or two.
  • Players who I left off: Walker, Foschi, Francis, Omar Easy, Justin Fargas.et
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    Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer